April is Autism Awareness Month, so there is no better time for the IOCDF to welcome our 2016 presenting sponsor for the 4th Annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk — Spectrum Designs Foundation.
Spectrum Designs Foundation is a nonprofit social enterprise company specializing in custom apparel decoration with the mission of providing meaningful work opportunities for teens and young adults with autism. We are excited to announce that Spectrum Designs has partnered with the IOCDF as the presenting sponsor for the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston. Spectrum will also be printing all of the Walk T-shirts for Boston! We are so excited to be partnering with a Foundation that has a mission that aligns so well with ours — to help all individuals (whether they are affected by OCD, autism spectrum disorders, or both) to live full and productive lives.
“Spectrum Designs is incredibly proud to be a presenting sponsor of the IOCDF,” says Patrick Bardsley, president & co-founder of Spectrum Designs. “The IOCDF has a pragmatic and positive approach to mental health that we share wholeheartedly — an emphasis on inherent self-worth, productivity and community. A number of our employees live with OCD and related disorders, and we appreciate the incredibly work the IOCDF is doing to end the stigma associated with mental health illnesses, as well as their willingness to partner with organizations that share that vision.”
“As we look to expand our operations and employ more and more teens and young adults with autism and related developmental disabilities, it is partnerships like we have with the IOCDF that will boost us forwards.”
A social enterprise is a business that seeks to tackle complex social problems to improve communities and people’s life circumstances. On the surface, many social enterprises look, feel, and even operate like traditional businesses. But take a deeper look, and you’ll find that at the core of their operation is a mission to help others. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. Grounded in its vision of providing gainful employment opportunities to people with autism, Spectrum Designs’ employees earn at least minimum wage and Spectrum’s unique structure allows for people of all abilities to grow and thrive, both within the organization and beyond. Spectrum Designs Foundation offers high quality screen-printing, embroidery, in-house graphic arts, and a wide range of promotional items. The IOCDF thought a partnership with Spectrum Designs was a natural fit!
One of the most coveted items from the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is the annual Walk T-shirt. Each year, the IOCDF communications team designs a special souvenir Walk T-shirt for all walkers who raise $25 or more. Walk T-shirts have become highly collectable, with many walkers obtaining a new t-shirt each year! On the day of the Walk, it’s quite a sight to see 400+ walkers all wearing the same t-shirt, all taking steps to help create awareness of OCD and related disorders.
If you are in the Boston, Atlanta, Northern California, or Houston areas on Saturday, June 4th, please come walk with other members of the OCD community. Everyone will be walking to raise awareness for OCD and related disorders, as well as raising funds to support the work of the IOCDF and our Atlanta, Northern California, and Houston affiliates. To learn more or to register to walk, go here.
Please remember that if you can’t take part in the Boston, Northern California, Atlanta, and Houston walks, you can always join in your own community by setting up a Virtual Walk fundraising page and pledging to walk for OCD anytime between now and June 4th (Anytime in the month of June works as well). This can be something you do on your own or with your family and friends. Everyone who registers as a virtual walker and raises or donates a minimum of $25 will receive a special Virtual Walk Kit. The Virtual Walk Kit has everything you need to get your Walk started: a T-shirt, stickers for all of your local walkers, and a pedometer to help you plan your route.
To become a virtual walker, click here.
Let’s see how many million steps we can collectively take for OCD if we all work together! Take a step and be part of #1million4OCD.